Wells Fargo Corp. (WFC) and HSBC Holdings PLC (HBC) are the target of separate lawsuits being filed on Friday by the NAACP, which alleges the banks were engaged in "systematic, institutionalized racism" in their subprime mortgage lending businesses.
The lawsuits, which the NAACP said would be filed in U.S. District Court in California, allege that African-American homeowners were frequently steered into mortgages with higher interest rates than other borrowers with similar credit histories.
"These banks are getting billions in bailout money yet think they can get away with business as usual," Austin Tighe, co-lead counsel for the NAACP, said in an interview Thursday evening.
Predatory lending and other practices, he continued, "are legally actionable and more importantly, morally reprehensible."
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